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Mental Health and Law Enforcement

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  • Mental Health and Law Enforcement

    Well another senseless shooting again. This time in Ventura County CA. How long will it be till law enforcement gets blamed for not doing anything prior to the shooting. It's already in the news that police responded out to the shooter's house in April of 2018 because the shooter was having a PTSD episode at his residence. The shooter did not commit a crime, but the police did the right thing and called out mental health professionals to asses his mental health. Of course mental health did not see that he needed to be either placed on a 5150 W&I hold or further mental health treatment at a mental health treatment facility.

    This happens far too often in the job of policing. Why do officers/deputies get tasked with handling mental health cases. There used to be a time when mental health professionals responded to these calls and placed people into facilities often. The police were just there to keep the peace and ensure the subject suffering from mental health issues did not hurt himself or others. Now it seems more and more mental health doesn't respond and police are having to take up the slack. I even had on one call a fricken mental health doctor at the ER ask me to place a subject on a 5150 hold. Wait, aren't doctors way more equipped with handling a medical/mental health issue than I am? I think I got about eight hours of training in the academy about responding to mental health and maybe another eight to sixteen hours POST training after the academy.

    I'm tired of these issues being forced upon law enforcement's shoulders.

    Anyway, what are some of your thoughts on the 5150 issue?

    A link to the article about this newest shooter is below.

    https://www.foxnews.com/us/californi...we-know-so-far

  • #2
    Yes it would be nice if there was a psychiatric response unit that could handle these calls. That VCSO(?) was able to get a psych team to this guy is truly incredible.

    I think the standard will will be lowered for 5150. Similar to how 40300.5 is to be “liberally” interpreted. That GVRO stuff isn’t used everywhere and few courts know how to handle this.
    semper destravit

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    • #3
      Many states are now allowing paramedics to place holds AND administer psych meds. I think it’s stupid, but...
      Now go home and get your shine box!

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      • #4
        We need to give medics and PERT clinicians the ability to write 5150's, and get out of the mental health business. My last patrol squad 2 years ago was super proactive hunters, but the radio calls were drowning them in 5150 detentions, and they had more holds than arrests. If we aren't careful LE will end up like the fire service and mission creep out of what we are really here for-- like how fire is now 90% prehospital medicine/EMS and fire just the side job now.... we are becoming mental health response teams, and not crime fighters.

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        • #5
          Originally posted by nobodyjr View Post
          We need to give medics and PERT clinicians the ability to write 5150's, and get out of the mental health business. My last patrol squad 2 years ago was super proactive hunters, but the radio calls were drowning them in 5150 detentions, and they had more holds than arrests. If we aren't careful LE will end up like the fire service and mission creep out of what we are really here for-- like how fire is now 90% prehospital medicine/EMS and fire just the side job now.... we are becoming mental health response teams, and not crime fighters.
          But fire worked themselves out of the fire world due to building laws and fire sprinkler systems. LA County and LAPD both run teams of an Officer/Deputy and a clinician who respond to mental health calls. They will come and handle the call. They will take the patient to the hospital and write the hold. The initial responding officer or deputy will write the report. The system works and I know they have expanded it.

          I don't know why paramedics should not be able to write a hold, be it the paramedic is a part of a fire department. If fire personal can write summons on fire safety violations why not do mental helatb stuff.
          I'd rather be judged by 12 rather carried by 6.

          It should be noted that any and all post that are made are based on my own thought and opinions. And are not related or implied to represent the department I work for.

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          • #6
            To add to what moparfan said, the darn welfare check/5150 calls are getting out of hand. The common one that is becoming more and more frequent is the out of town/state mom/relative that calls in to report that their son/daughter is texting them and threatening to commit suicide. They always request that LEO respond out to the residence to conduct a welfare check. 9 times out of 10 its some doped up 20 something trying to get attention.

            I don't understand, there is case law on this and law enforcement does not have an obligation to respond if someone wants to commit suicide. 5150 is not a shall place on a hold, it is a should. As long as no one else is in danger there is no need for us to keep responding to these calls. We are not medical/mental health professionals we are law enforcement officers, its just frustrating.

            After we place said person on a hold they end up getting bounced out of the ER/Mental health facility prior to the 72 hour time frame with an excuse from mental health that there are no "beds" at any of their mental health hospitals. But hey, they get a really thorough "safety plan," which makes everything OK, right. LE then gets the welfare check call inevitably again about the same subject making threats again. Its a broken system with some serious revolving doors. And the cherry on top is, most of these subjects are all unemployed welfare recipients and all the costs gets put on the ER and the tax payers.

            Sorry, rant over.

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            • #7
              Originally posted by moparfan View Post

              But fire worked themselves out of the fire world due to building laws and fire sprinkler systems. LA County and LAPD both run teams of an Officer/Deputy and a clinician who respond to mental health calls. They will come and handle the call. They will take the patient to the hospital and write the hold. The initial responding officer or deputy will write the report. The system works and I know they have expanded it.

              I don't know why paramedics should not be able to write a hold, be it the paramedic is a part of a fire department. If fire personal can write summons on fire safety violations why not do mental helatb stuff.
              DNA testing, 3 strikes laws, surveillance cameras everywhere, GPS tracking on stolen cars, etc etc, had us on the road to working our way out of crime had prop 47/57 and AB109 not screwed it all up. We have PERT units too, and our officers end up being body guards for them and taking them away from actual policing duties. Same with homeless outreach teams. We need to get out of this mental health check the welfare crap and dump it on AMR or some health care provider.

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              • #8
                Why wasnt the gun violence restraining order used in this situation? Wasnt that the purpose of it after the Isla Vista shooting?

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